Colvin Innovates Flower Retailing

Colvin Innovates Flower Retailing

Like many e-commerce companies, Colvin has seen an acceleration in growth as more consumers choose to shop

Client: Openbravo
Assignment: Customer Case Study

(Published on the Openbravo website on August 8, 2021. Read the original here.)

Retailing has undergone a radical transformation with digital technology enabling new business models that bypass established players and enable new distribution strategies. Colvin, a Barcelona-based eCommerce startup founded in 2017, has applied those disruptive principles to flower retailing by implementing a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model that connects directly with flower and plant growers and eliminates intermediaries. During 2020, Colvin shipped more than 10 million flowers, doubled the size of the team to 200 people and opened a division focused on the world of plants, Colvin Jungle. It currently operates in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Germany.

Before the decision to implement Openbravo, we managed operations at Colvin with proprietary software, but as the complexity of the business has grown, it has become increasingly difficult for us to keep it updated according to our needs. For this reason, we decided to look for a commercial solution that would allow us to have our standard processes developed, without losing the flexibility we need to adapt it to the online flower and plant business.

Pol Lligoña, Head of Global Operations at Colvin

Challenges

Rapid acceleration of sales

Like many e-commerce companies, Colvin has seen an acceleration in growth as more consumers choose to shop online and more frequently, and its turnover doubled in 2020. The systems that Colvin already had when it started operations did not offer the scalability it needed to cope with the growth of the business and its complexity.

Traceability and inventory control

Flowers are a perishable commodity and there is a lot of pressure in Colvin’s supply chain to ensure fast shipments. This required, firstly, greater visibility into their inventory levels and, secondly, better traceability so that they could always easily identify the origin of each batch, which is important if, for example, they received a batch of flowers that wither prematurely.

The main objective of the project is to be able to track in real time the production processes of the three production centers that we have in Europe (Spain, Italy and Germany), scale the processes and be able to know exactly the type, variety and origin of each flower used to make each of the bouquets in order to improve their quality and guarantee the best possible delivery experience

Pol Lligoña, Head of Global Operations at Colvin

Solution

Comprehensive warehouse and inventory management solution

Openbravo partner Practics designed a solution for Colvin’s specific requirements using Openbravo WMS, which offers retailers a complete set of inventory management capabilities. Openbravo WMS is implemented in the areas of planning, purchasing, goods receipt, quality control, inventory management and delivery, while activities such as invoicing and other administrative processes are managed by Colvin’s ERP system.

Order preparation from mobile devices

The Openbravo solution offers a mobile and responsive, intuitive and easy-to-use interface that facilitates the work of preparing orders by 30 operators in the different Colvin operating centers.

Demand planning support

Colvin is now able to ensure a more accurate and automated demand planning process built into the system, which is especially critical both because of the seasonal nature of the sale of flowers, the fact that they are perishable products and because of the rapid growth that the company has experienced.

Results

Real-time inventory management and full traceability

Since adopting Openbravo WMS, Colvin has achieved better tracking of all incoming and outgoing products and, in addition, real-time stock management, which is vital to optimizing flower and plant life. The information in the system also provides complete traceability from receipt to shipment to customers.

Increased speed and capacity to prepare orders

The Openbravo solution enables Colvin to speed up the order picking process while also reducing possible errors thanks to the accurate and real-time information provided by the system. This has also increased its capacity to handle a greater number of daily orders, essential to support its growth strategy.

Rapid deployment to support your growth strategy

The characteristics of Openbravo have allowed Colvin a rapid implementation process, thus reducing the time required for its adoption initially in Spain and later in Italy and Germany. The company hopes to continue its international expansion in the future with other markets such as France.

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